In many respects 2017 started off as being one of the best years I’ve had in a while. But for the UK nation as a whole, so far it’s been one filled with anxiety and uncertainty.
Three attacks in the last three months, in Westminster, Manchester and now most recently London Bridge, have instilled fear and sadness in our hearts. It upsets me to think that over 30 innocent lives have been taken right on my doorstep in the name of terrorism.
And yes, to those who say that great injustices have been taking place for years in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, you’re right. I absolutely abhor the fact that thousands of innocent lives are still being taken across these continents every year. But for people who go on to say that the Manchester and London attacks were ‘nothing’ in comparison to the brutality taking place in Syria and Iraq, I say, the cost of a human life is the same regardless of geographical location or quantity: priceless.
The families of the Manchester victims are devastated and grieving in the exact same way that families in Yemen are mourning the loss of their children, parents, spouses and siblings. There’s no sense to me in comparing statistics and stating who’s worse off, because at the end of the day we’re all in a bad state when we’re sitting here feeling like our faith in humanity has been tarnished.
In response to those who believe that Muslims are to blame for these global attrocities, I shake my head and sigh. Religion isn’t the cause of terrorism, it’s an excuse that terrorists use to justify their actions and we should not buy into it by any means.
Groups like: Isis, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and the Taliban are not Muslims, they’re monsters and sadly they’re dominating the world right now. It’s not crazy for us to feel like pawns on their chessboard, because that’s essentially what we are. They’re calling the shots all over the globe and we’re living in fear as to when and where their next attack will be.
But what we can do, as ordinary citizens, is be there for one another during these troublesome times. We can take an interest in what’s going on around us and unite in the face of these senseless acts of violence. We can be there for one another and reassure one another, building up our hope and faith once again to make sure that we don’t give them the power or satisfaction of beating us.
And so personally, I pray. I pray for the poor innocent souls whose lives were cut short by inhumane monsters. I pray for the families of these victims, that they’re one day able to find peace. I pray for us ordinary civilians, that we’re strong enough to remain positive in these trying times and not become hardened by it, not to harbour hate in our hearts, but to continue to spread love instead.
Overnight I’ve seen many of my friends reaching out on Facebook and offering their homes to people stranded in London. So many Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) across the country providing sanctuary and food and drink to those affected by these attacks. And such acts of kindness serve to remind me that we’re not all bad. Humanity still exists in spite of the news stories that try to convince us that the world is filled with nothing but hateful souls.
As cheesy as it may sound, we need to be the change that we want to see in the world.